Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Jamir Hussain, of Roundhay/Oakwood has said this morning it’s her husband to thank for pushing her to apply for the show, when she believed she had no chance of making it on to television.
The stay-at-home mother walked out of the Bake Off tent “a much stronger, confident person” after being crowned winner of series six, beating Ian Cumming and Tamal Ray in an emotional final which had judge Mary Berry in tears.
The 30-year-old, who became loved for her expressive face, said it was “surreal” to finally be able to talk about her achievement after keeping her win on the BBC show a secret.
She told BBC Breakfast: “It feels like I’m relieving that moment again. It was one of the best moments of my life.
“My husband (Abdul) tried to get me to apply two years ago and I said, ‘look, I don’t have the confidence to do something like this’, and this year he pretty much forced me and said, ‘you’re really good, you’re really clever, you should just do it, what’s the worst that will happen?’.
“Those were famous last words. And I did it, and I went in and I applied and every stage of the process felt unlikely and like it wasn’t meant to happen.
“My confidence grew and then this happened.”
She added that she had “no idea my face could do that” and hopes her baking will be the lasting impression on viewers - and not her eyebrows.
The mother-of-three described how she “comes from a culture where there is no such concept of dessert after dinner” and she caught the bug for baking during home economics.
Born in Luton to a Bangladeshi family, Nadiya has been praised as a role model for young British Muslims after previously admitting she was nervous that audiences would “look at me, a Muslim in a headscarf, and wonder if I could bake”.
The Muslim Association of Britain said of her win: “Her participating in The Great British Bake Off has demonstrated the connection that young British Muslims have with British society.
“The hijab that she wears has not deterred her from participating and winning the show. This demonstrates how Muslims have made great efforts in integrating into society; and how they are achieving that in many various aspects.”
For her final challenge she created the wedding cake she missed out on at her own wedding in Bangladesh, which she decorated in a red, white and blue sari, the colours of the Union Jack.